My Creative Writing Courses

I am currently running three different creative writing courses in various locations :
Getting Started – Finding the Flow

Have you always wanted to write, but not known where and how to get started? Or are you someone who has begun to write but still lacks confidence and perpetually scrambles for ideas for what to write about?
If the answer to either question is ‘yes’ - this course is for you.

Over the course of ten weeks I will show you various ways to unlock your creativity, and at the same time diminish the critical voice in your head. I promise that you will surprise yourself with what appears on the page; and if you are writing already, you will produce some of your freshest writing on this course.

The course is structured around practical exercises – you will be doing a lot of writing in the classroom and share what you have written with the group. You must be prepared to also work hard between each session. You will be given assignments each week and I ask that you try to set aside time (preferably one hour) each day during the course to write. By the end of the course you should have notebooks full of raw material you can extract for finished pieces of writing and have an insight into what genres and style of writing suits you best, and where you might eventually publish your work.

Group size is kept small (maximum of 12 participants) to ensure that each participant gets personal attention in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere.

There is also an ongoing support in the form of an e-group where you can chat to everyone else who has done the course. Articles and advice are regularly posted, as well as news of writing events, links to useful internet materials, and calls for submission to publications and competitions.

Who May Attend?

You need to be 18 and above, and write confidently in English. I have had participants of all of many different nationalities, and from all walks of life.

Who Are You? Somebody!

Just who are you really?

This is a ten-week second-level creative writing course which builds on the introductory Getting Started. The focus this time is on personal writing – about your life experiences, your family and influences, and the things that make you uniquely you. The emphasis is on writing honestly.

The course will build on the various techniques and strategies we used in the first course (including fast writing, clustering, drawing) and will include readings and examples from a variety of authors and poets.

As with the Getting Started, the first part of the course will involve intensively generating raw material which will be closely workshopped in the final four weeks.

The output task for the course will be for each participant to put together a portfolio of pieces produced in response to course tasks and may be memoir pieces, articles, fiction, poetry, or a blend of these.

This will be handed in a folder or ring-bound one month after the completion of the course, and you will receive an individualized report on your progress in return.

Group size will be kept small to ensure that each participant receives the maximum attention. Additional tutorial slots may be available on appointment so that you can receive individual feedback.

The course is open to anyone who has successfully completed the first course (including completing their assignment), and who is continuing to write and to read widely. We may also accept writers who have completed creative writing courses elsewhere or who can show evidence that they have begun to take their writing seriously.
 Finding Stories

This course is open to those who have completed my Getting Started course and focuses on generating material that can be used to create publishable short fiction.
One of the most common questions that authors of short fiction and novels get asked is “Where do you get your ideas from?”, but the truth is that successful writers do not wait for inspiration to strike.  The starting points for stories can be found absolutely everywhere and this course will help you to tune in to find them for yourself.  At the same time, we will be looking at how the short story works, and particularly at the role of conflict in shaping the plot.

Each week we will use a series of focused writing tasks in class to get the creative juices flowing.  These are intended to be both challenging and fun. Participants will be encouraged to work on their fiction over the course of the week, and bring their writing to share with the class.   
By the end of the course, the participants will have drafts of a number of short stories, which can be fine-tuned in subsequent workshop sessions.

A fourth course Writing From the Real World, which focuses on honing observation skills, keeping a writer's notebook, and descriptive writing will be on offer later in 2011. Short story workshops are also planned.

I am also able to tailor my courses to the needs of individual groups and organisations and teach on your premises.  Please contact me for a chat.